The Netherlands is not exactly what you'd call a mountain biking mecca. While it has the whole 'biking' thing down better than probably any other country on the planet, the fact that a lot of the country is actually below sea level means it's somewhat lacking in the 'mountain' department. Despite this, it definitely punches above its weight in the MTB world with Mathieu Van Der Poel one of the favourites for Olympic gold next year and a lineage of great riders including Bas de Bever, Bart Brentjens and Anneke Beerten.
Hoping to be another mtb name to remember from the Netherlands comes Instinctiv Bikes.
Instinctiv M Series Details
• Wheelsize: 27.5" or 29" or Mullet
• Carbon frame
• Travel: 140mm (r) / 150mm (f)
• 64.5° head angle
• 445mm chainstays
• Weight: 33.5 lb / 15.2 kg (size L, C1.9XR drive train, carbon wheelset, without pedals)
• Price range: From €7,499
• Available for pre-order now
The brand's first platform is the M Series that is available with 29", 27.5" or mixed wheels. The bikes all use the same front triangle, but the seatstay and chainstay are different for the bigger rear wheel on the M9 29er. The frames have been two and a half years in the making and are the brainchild of CEO Andreas Knol. The bikes started as a side project of Alskar Design, a design and engineering company that Andreas also founded, but has now grown into its own company.
Andreas said: "About 2.5 years ago I got the desire to create our own product, to showcase what we are capable of doing as a team. To develop our own high-end bike, bringing every detail to a high degree of perfection. That was the start of Instinctiv. It started as a project but evolved into a company that designs, develops and assembles bikes." Frame Details
Instinctiv's frames are full carbon and it claims the weave it uses comes from a "premium automotive brand". The frames also use 7% recycled carbon fiber, which Instincitv knows isn't going to change the world but it said, "we don’t want to wait until everything is right. We wanted to make a small start now and believe that it is possible to push limits further in the future." The frames are made in Taiwan but painted and assembled in the Netherlands.
The large front triangle is probably the most noticeable aspect of this bike. Combined with the low slung shock, this gives room for two water bottles. Only shortly after noticing the front triangle, you'll probably see that this is a gearbox driven bike too. The bike uses Pinion drivetrains but Instinctiv has made some modifications including a chain tensioner that Instinctiv claim reacts faster than the standard one. Instinctiv's jockey wheel uses a different spring system, larger jockey wheels, high quality bearings, and a closed construction to bring about some improvements on the original design.
Instinctiv also attempted to fix a big problem on the Pinion and have replaced its GripShift with a proprietary shifter. The shifting module is from Cinq / Tout Terrain, a German manufacturer, in combination with Instinctiv's own ergonomic trigger that it claims gives a shifting feeling similar to a derailleur set up we are all used to.
Instinciv's modifications are designed to improve the performance of the Pinion gearbox.Geometry
Instinctiv describes the bike as suitable for enduro and trail riders and believes it "could perform well in the EWS'. The M9 and the M7 share very similar geometry numbers but the M97 is a bit slacker thanks to the mismatched wheels. The head angle on the M9 and M7 sits at 64.5° but half a degree slacker on the M97. The same is true on the seat angle where 76° slackens out to 75.5° on the mixed version. The bikes have a healthy reach across sizes with 486mm in size large, again this is a bit different on the mixed wheel version by around 5mm per size.
The other big discrepancies between the bikes come from the chainstays where the M7 and M97 have compact 430mm stays but these stretch out a bit on the M9 version to accommodate the bigger wheels. Suspension
Instinctiv designed its suspension to be as central, low and compact as possible to complement the weight distribution offered by the gearbox. Instincitv claims that this layout gives the bike, "stability at high speed, a lot of grip and a predictable character in all conditions"
It's essentially a Horst Link but with a system of rockers and links that drives the shock in a very progressive and compact way. This 'Puma' platform is patented and allows Instinctiv to "optimise the leverage ratio independent of other kinematic factors."
For suspension graphs, click here
Instinctiv has sold its first 50 frames and is currently taking pre-orders for another batch. The brand is currently prioritizing slow and steady growth so it can logistics, quality and manufacturing at a high level. It is currently exploring some other models and we will update you when we hear more. For more information on Instincitv bikes, click here